Five Minutes with Presidential Leadership Fellows Andrea Duffy and Scott Shrake

Andrea, you led CSU’s international studies program for nearly 10 years and also worked with our international programs office. How do you see Courageous Strategic Transformation going global?

Andrea: The reach of our courageous strategic transformation is truly global. The plan is infused with international goals through learning, research and engagement. It promotes education abroad, international enrollment, and the international impact of our university community.

In addition, the plan highlights the value of our general education program in developing conscientious global citizens and agents of change. I’m a huge proponent of international connections, perspectives and experiences, so I’m particularly proud of the plan’s global reach, but I really can’t take credit for it. As a participatory document, the CSE clearly reflects and amplifies our campus’ commitment to the wider world and recognizes that, although we are landlocked, we operate in a global community.

Another term that is very intentional and appears a lot in the Courageous strategic transformation plan is “excellence,” which can also mean different things to different people. After listening to literally thousands of members of the CSU community as they talked about what they hoped to see in the plan, what would you say we mean by “excellence” here?

Andrea: Throughout our conversations, we heard from stakeholders across campus saying that they don’t just want CSU to be “good enough,” they want our institution to be amazing. We landed on the term “excellence” as a way to capture this aspiration, while keeping CSU’s core services in mind. It means going above and beyond in everything we do, in our operational and financial practices, in fostering a diverse and inclusive community, in driving innovation, and in our local and global impact.

Scott: For me, excellence means that we put in all the effort, that we execute to the best of our collective abilities and that we leave it all on the field. We’re tackling some tough challenges here at CSU and at the end of the day I want to be able to look at our collective impact and say, ‘We gave it everything we had and created something even though we weren’t not sure was possible.” This will only happen if we are grounded in a culture of continuous improvement and strive to do our best and most meaningful work, both individually and institutionally.

Kevin E. Boling